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Mixed-Status Families Increasing In U.S., Study Finds

Publication Date: 
April 15, 2009
San Jose Mercury News
Mike Swift

Senior Lecturer in Law and Associate Dean for Executive Education and Special Programs Dan Siciliano is quoted in the San Jose Mercury News in a story about immigration reform and the growing number immigrant families in which the parents are undocumented and the children, since they were born in this country, are U.S. citizens. Siciliano comments on the impact of immigration reform on the economy:

Presenting a new family dynamic for the nation's 12 million illegal immigrants, a new study shows a growing majority of their children are U.S. citizens, a fact that could further complicate — and polarize — the nation's upcoming debate on immigration reform.


With President Barack Obama saying that he plans to propose comprehensive immigration changes this year, there is intense debate about the fiscal impact of bringing illegal immigrants into the mainstream by forcing them to pay income and payroll taxes, and having full access to government and educational benefits.


But Dan Siciliano, executive director of the Program in Law, Economics and Business at Stanford Law School, said bringing unauthorized immigrants into the mainstream would stimulate the economy. There could be a future economic cost, he said, if mixed-status families feel too much uncertainty to invest fully in the education of their U.S.-born children.

At risk, Siciliano said, could be "the son or daughter of the housekeeper or the groundskeeper who goes on in Silicon Valley to be well educated and goes on to found whatever it might be, the next Google or the next Facebook."